NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Loved ones are searching for answers after 21-year-old Muhanad Jawad was gunned down while working in his family’s store in the Fair Haven section of New Haven.
“People are just haters. People out there don’t got nothing better to do with their lives. So many young people just dying for no reason and like, it’s crazy,” said Marielys Torres.
Torres had been dating Jawad for almost a year. She believes she was texting him at the time he was shot.
“He had just texted that he loved me and I wrote back I love you, too. He was like, what you doing? I’m almost done getting ready so I can be on my way and he didn’t write back. And he always writes back,” said Torres.
Police responded to reports of shots fired at around 1:30 this afternoon. Jawad was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
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Police say they believe this was a targeted attack. Jawad had a lengthy criminal history. An arrest back in July included charges of engaging police in a pursuit and illegal possession of a firearm. At the time of the arrest officers seized 27 bags of heroin, a jar of marijuana and four bags of cocaine from his car.
Tuesday, the on-scene investigation lasted well into the evening hours.
“We have the Bureau of Identification and they’re doing the evidence and forensic collection including any video surveillance that might be available,” said Sergeant Anthony Maio with the New Haven Police Department.
Police say they’re looking for one suspect, either a dark skinned Hispanic man or a black man who was wearing a dark shirt or hoodie and dark pants. Officers say they’re confidant they will catch the person responsible.
“We have one good independent witness here and quite possibly a secondary witness on the exterior which could really help aid us in our investigation and we’re very appreciative of that,” said Sgt. Maio.
Those who knew Jawad best acknowledge his criminal past, but say the struggle to come to terms with his death is unbearable.
“When he went to jail, I went crazy. Crazy. I didn’t eat and sleep. Nothing. And, it’s like now he’s gone forever. It’s like I have to go home alone now,” said Torres.